Each May, some 3,000 people descend on Kalamazoo, Mich., for the International Congress on Medieval Studies, which brings together academics and enthusiasts for four days of scholarly panels, performances and after-hours mead drinking.
But in recent years, the gathering affectionately known as “K’zoo” — and the field of medieval studies itself — has been shadowed by conflicts right out of the 21st century.
Since the 2016 presidential election, scholars have hotly debated the best way to counter the “weaponization” of the Middle Ages by a rising tide of far-right extremists, whether it’s white nationalist marchers in Charlottesville, Va., displaying medieval symbols or the white terrorist who murdered 50 people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, using weapons inscribed with references to the Crusades.
And hanging over it all is an even more fraught question: Does medieval studies have a white supremacy problem of its own?
To some scholars, the answer is yes, and not just because the field is overwhelmingly white. Scholarship on the Middle Ages, they argue, helped create the idea of white European superiority, and still bolsters it today. There have been calls to “decolonize” medieval studies by confronting the structural racism that has kept both nonwhite scholars and nonwhite perspectives outside its gates.
On the other side are those who see the field as under siege by activists seeking to replace scholarship with ritualistic denunciations of white male privilege, pursued with a with-us-or-against-us zeal.
There have been vitriolic blog exchanges, expletive-laced social media conflagrations and conference blowups. (Some members of the group Medievalists of Color have announced they will be boycotting this year’s Kalamazoo conference, which begins on Thursday.) Facebook groups have splintered amid charges and countercharges of bullying, cybermobbing and infiltration by trolls.
In the middle are the broad mass of medievalists, who may sympathize with one camp or the other, but mostly want to stay out of the fray.
“People don’t become medievalists because they want to be political,” said Richard Utz, a literary scholar at Georgia Tech and president of the International Society for the Study of Medievalism. “Most are monkish creatures who just want to live in their cells and write their manuscripts.”
The term “medieval” came into use in the 19th century, to refer to Europe from roughly 500 to 1500, between the end of the Roman Empire and the rise of modernity. But while the field may seem divorced from the contemporary world, its own origins were hardly apolitical.
In Europe, academic study of the Middle Ages developed in tandem with a romantic nationalism that rooted the nation-state in an idealized past populated by Anglo-Saxons and other supposedly distinct “races.”
In the United States, universities, cultural institutions and wealthy elites drew on Gothic architecture, heraldry and other medieval trappings to ground American identity in a noble (and implicitly white) European history. So did Southern slaveholders and the Ku Klux Klan.
Today, the field is sprawling and interdisciplinary, and includes historians, literary scholars, art historians, philologists, archaeologists and others. Its boundaries have expanded past its traditional focus on Northwest Europe to include the Mediterranean, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and even, among those advocating a “global Middle Ages,” the entire world.
But it remains an intellectually conservative field that has largely resisted the waves of critical theory that have washed over much of the humanities in recent decades. It has also been slow to take up the subject of race.
While archaeological evidence shows that Africans and other nonwhite people were present in medieval Europe, some scholars argue that race is a modern construct, with limited relevance in a period when differences in religion mattered more than skin color.
But other medievalists see in such arguments a desire to wall off medieval scholarship from uncomfortable questions.
“It’s about asserting the racial and political innocence of the Middle Ages,” said Cord Whitaker, an assistant professor of English at Wellesley College and a member of Medievalists of Color. “For medievalists to try to protect the field from engagement with race is ultimately to try to withdraw from the world.”
If withdrawal from the world was ever possible, it has become harder lately. During the 2016 election, memes like Donald Trump in armor on a horse and the Crusader slogan “Deus vult” (God wills it) began proliferating on social media. White nationalists stepped up recruiting on college campuses, sometimes co-opting the language of identity politics with calls for students to explore their “white heritage.”
Then came Charlottesville, where the sight of marchers carrying shields evoking the Knights Templar or holding banners with Anglo-Saxon runes came as a shock to many scholars.
“Medieval Studies always wants to be relevant,” said Ruth Mazo Karras, a historian at Trinity College, Dublin, and president of the Medieval Academy of America. “But now we’ve become relevant in the wrong way.”
A week after Charlottesville, the Medieval Academy and 28 other scholarly groups released a statement condemning the “fantasy of a pure, white Europe that bears no relationship to reality.” Some medievalists overhauled their teaching, discussing misappropriations of history along with the history itself. Suddenly, professors began worrying about how to respond to students who might bring up white nationalist themes in class — or who might assume that medievalists themselves are white supremacists.
“We had to think about, ‘Who do they think we are?” said Nicholas Paul, director of the Center for Medieval Studies at Fordham University and a co-editor of the forthcoming book “Whose Middle Ages? Teachable Moments for an Ill-Used Past.”
The idea of medieval studies as a haven for white nationalist ideas gained ground when Rachel Fulton Brown, an associate professor of medieval history at the University of Chicago, began feuding with Dorothy Kim, an assistant professor of medieval English literature at Brandeis, after Dr. Kim, writing on Facebook, highlighted an old blog post of Dr. Fulton Brown’s titled “Three Cheers for White Men,” calling it an example of “medievalists upholding white supremacy.”
Many scholars were outraged when Dr. Fulton Brown, in a riposte to Dr. Kim written a few weeks after Charlottesville, tagged the right-wing writer Milo Yiannopoulos, whose website then ran an article about the dispute. Last July Mr. Yiannopoulos followed up with a 16,000-word attack on the field, which assailed Dr. Kim and others as “an angry social justice mob.”
The article caused a furor, as scholars accused colleagues of providing screenshots of private Facebook conversations and surreptitious recordings of conference sessions to Mr. Yiannopoulos.
Since then, Dr. Fulton Brown has become more isolated, as some who initially supported her have distanced themselves after she began citing the far-right writer Vox Day and even, in a recent blog post, entertained the idea that the Christchurch shooting might have been a “false flag operation.” (Dr. Fulton Brown, in an interview, said the depiction of her as a white supremacist or a member of the alt-right is “a misnomer” that “depends on a fantasy about me.”)
But the climate of intense suspicion and division the feud helped foster, particularly on social media, remains.
Paul Halsall, editor of the Internet Medieval Sourcebook, is among the scholars who remain friendly with Dr. Fulton Brown, the author of highly regarded studies of medieval devotion to the Virgin Mary, though he said he disagrees with her political views “profoundly.”
Last summer, he started two open Facebook groups after one dedicated to the Kalamazoo conference erupted in a dispute about racism and its comments policy, which resulted in a number of people, including its moderator, leaving or being expelled from the group.
Dr. Halsall deplored what he called the “cooties” approach that he says has taken hold, chilling debate.
“There’s this idea that if you talk to someone, you are stained,” he said. He added: “Anyone who is vaguely middle of the road or conservative is suddenly racist or white nationalist.”
Dr. Kim, a member of Medievalists of Color, said white medievalists who say they fear weighing in, lest they be accused of racism, are enacting a “classic white fragility script.”
“Those of us from marginal, targeted groups have no choice” about speaking up, she said. “This is about our own survival in the field.”
Some efforts to make the field more inclusive have met with resistance. Last year, the Medieval Academy created an annual award for scholars of color named for Belle da Costa Greene, the first manuscript librarian of the Pierpont Morgan collection, and an African-American woman who passed as white.
An anonymous group left a donation of 0 with a letter declaring support for the idea of inclusion but objecting to “skin pigmentation as grounds for a scholarly grant,” according to Lisa Fagin Davis, the academy’s executive director.
Last year, there was an outcry after the Kalamazoo conference, which is run by the Medieval Institute at Western Michigan University, rejected a number of panels proposed by Medievalists of Color. An open letter, signed by more than 600 scholars, denounced the organizers for “a bias against, or lack of interest in, sessions that are self-critical of medieval studies, or focused on the politics of the field.” The panels about race that were accepted, some scholars noted, were organized by white scholars.
Jana Schulman, the director of the Medieval Institute, said procedures for selecting panels this year were being overhauled to be more inclusive and transparent. She said she regretted that members of Medievalists of Color were staying away, calling their critique of the field “important.”
“An individual’s area of interest completely colors what it is they look at” in the past, Dr. Schulman said. “Those of us in the field need to be aware that ours was maybe limited.”B:
2014年27期开什么生肖【莫】【说】【是】【这】【西】【荒】，【便】【是】【那】【中】【土】，【北】【莽】，【东】【域】，【南】【方】【四】【域】【也】【有】【亿】【万】【里】【之】【大】，【修】【真】【宗】【门】**，【而】【自】【这】【块】【大】【陆】【版】【图】【外】，【在】【那】【号】【称】【天】【海】【之】【外】，【更】【有】【一】【块】【大】【陆】，【比】【起】【这】【块】【大】【陆】【版】【图】【有】【过】【之】【而】【不】【及】。 【赤】【土】【城】【位】【于】【西】【荒】【边】【缘】，【在】【向】【西】，【便】【是】【号】【称】【死】【亡】【禁】【区】，【便】【是】【合】【道】【大】【能】【亦】【不】【敢】【踏】【入】。 【秦】【轩】【走】【入】【这】【赤】【土】【城】，【很】【快】，【他】【取】【出】【早】【已】【经】【准】
【丞】【相】【府】【外】，【大】【概】【几】【百】【米】【处】。 【一】【个】【摊】【位】【之】【前】，【精】【神】【奕】【奕】【的】【方】【莫】，【正】【坐】【在】【那】【里】【吃】【着】【一】【份】【早】【餐】，【他】【不】【时】【会】【抬】【起】【头】【看】【看】【那】【边】，【耳】【朵】【则】【是】【竖】【了】【起】【来】，【时】【刻】【听】【着】【周】【围】【那】【些】【人】【的】【聊】【天】。 “【丞】【相】【今】【天】【又】【要】【帮】【着】【我】【们】【做】【事】【了】！” “【这】【丞】【相】【真】【是】【太】【好】【了】，【他】【从】【上】【去】【以】【来】，【就】【从】【来】【没】【有】【忘】【记】【过】【我】【们】。” “【是】【啊】，【像】【是】【之】【前】，【他】【就】
“【魔】【鬼】【之】【地】【的】【尽】【头】【是】【什】【么】？”【蓝】【倾】【看】【着】【远】【方】【问】【道】，【无】【意】【地】【询】【问】。 【暗】【纹】【霸】【虎】【一】【略】，【犹】【豫】【了】【一】【下】，【但】【还】【是】【说】【道】：“【魔】【鬼】【之】【地】【的】【尽】【头】，【实】【际】【是】【通】【往】【梦】【灵】【大】【陆】【的】【空】【间】【隧】【道】。【这】【里】【也】【是】【百】【年】【前】【苍】【元】【大】【陆】【唯】【一】【前】【往】【中】【等】【大】【陆】【的】【通】【道】，【这】【是】【单】【向】【通】【道】，【其】【他】【大】【陆】【的】【人】【没】【有】【办】【法】【利】【用】【这】【条】【通】【道】【过】【来】【苍】【元】【大】【陆】。 【不】【过】，【因】【为】【那】【条】【空】【间】
【吕】【小】【驴】【这】【才】【把】【事】【情】【的】【原】【委】【细】【细】【道】【来】。 【原】【来】【这】【家】【伙】【贼】【得】【很】，【他】【也】【没】【说】【答】【应】【阿】【迪】，【只】【说】【先】【考】【虑】【一】【下】。 【阿】【迪】【没】【想】【太】【多】，【就】【把】【老】【吕】【带】【去】【了】**，【感】【受】【一】【下】【正】【规】【军】【和】【他】【们】【草】【台】【班】【子】【的】【区】【别】。 【好】【家】【伙】，【人】【家】【公】【司】【那】【叫】【一】【个】【气】【派】，【好】【大】【一】【层】【办】【公】【楼】，【隔】【断】，【工】【作】【位】，【电】【竞】【椅】【应】【有】【尽】【有】，【弄】【得】【跟】【白】【领】【上】【班】【似】【得】。 【一】【群】【小】【屁】
【二】【人】【由】【于】【要】【赶】【回】【客】【店】【等】【巨】【英】【要】【的】【稀】【铁】【才】【从】【甲】【板】【下】【的】【库】【房】【里】【出】【来】，【才】【见】【阳】【光】，【巨】【英】【大】【吼】【一】【声】：“【不】【好】【了】，【大】【船】【开】【走】【了】！” 【劳】【竹】【跑】【着】【来】【到】【甲】【板】【上】，【大】【船】【正】【浩】【浩】【荡】【荡】【向】【南】【行】【驶】，【他】【们】【的】【船】【在】【整】【个】【船】【队】【的】【中】【间】，【前】【不】【见】【头】，【后】【不】【见】【尾】。 【劳】【竹】【抬】【头】【看】【太】【阳】，【焦】【急】【道】：“【我】【们】【现】【在】【向】【南】，【不】【知】【道】【大】【船】【要】【开】【去】【哪】【里】。” 【话】【音】2014年27期开什么生肖“【那】【你】【想】【要】【什】【么】，【才】【能】【去】【暗】【中】【除】【掉】【两】【位】【高】【级】【研】【究】【员】。【我】【现】【有】【的】【技】【能】，【虽】【然】【能】【杀】【了】【他】【们】，【但】【做】【不】【到】【不】【留】【下】【痕】【迹】！”【特】【瑞】【萨】【对】【雷】【克】【问】【着】。 “【纹】【身】【吧】，【你】【让】【我】【在】【你】【后】【背】【纹】【身】【个】【迷】【宫】【的】【地】【图】，【手】【臂】【上】【纹】【身】【个】【小】【人】【扎】【针】【图】！”【雷】【克】【笑】【着】【说】【着】。 【特】【瑞】【萨】【听】【完】，【表】【情】【都】【变】【了】。 “【不】【想】【纹】【身】【的】【话】，【就】【想】【办】【法】【把】【我】【要】【升】【级】【为】【高】【级】
【道】【宗】，【乃】【是】【九】【州】【最】【强】【大】【的】【存】【在】，【圣】【山】【之】【中】，【聚】【集】【了】【整】【个】【九】【州】【的】【道】【宗】【强】【者】，【他】【们】【是】【九】【州】【最】【强】【大】【的】【存】【在】。 【而】【邪】【魔】，【更】【是】【上】【一】【代】【智】【慧】【生】【命】，【能】【够】【躲】【避】【灭】【世】【灾】【难】【的】【一】【代】【强】【大】【存】【在】。 【即】【便】【邪】【魔】【在】【另】【一】【片】【空】【间】【封】【印】【了】【不】【知】【道】【多】【少】【年】，【但】【依】【旧】【是】【可】【怕】【的】【敌】【人】。 【此】【刻】，【整】【片】【圣】【山】【完】【全】【被】【黑】【暗】【和】【洁】【白】【分】【隔】，【两】【股】【势】【力】【正】【式】【交】【战】。
【听】【着】【遥】【远】【处】【隐】【约】【传】【来】【的】【断】【断】【续】【续】【喊】【杀】【声】，【看】【着】【不】【断】【战】【死】【的】【一】【众】【军】【人】，【张】【傲】【天】【心】【底】【感】【慨】【万】【千】。 【然】【而】，【不】【由】【他】【继】【续】【感】【慨】【下】【去】，【遥】【远】【的】【天】【际】【竟】【好】【似】【有】【什】【么】【新】【的】【异】【兽】，【又】【加】【入】【到】【了】【战】【场】【之】【中】。 【并】【且】，【随】【着】【那】【些】【新】【的】【异】【兽】【加】【入】，【遥】【远】【处】【烟】【尘】【弥】【漫】，【地】【面】【也】【好】【似】【遭】【遇】【到】【地】【震】【般】，【竟】【也】【隐】【隐】【摇】【晃】【了】【起】【来】。 【随】【着】【那】【些】【新】【异】【兽】【的】
【拉】【泽】【尔】【公】【爵】【的】【出】【现】，【真】【的】【令】【洛】【珩】【很】【意】【外】。 【双】【方】【之】【间】【并】【没】【有】【什】【么】【交】【情】，【最】【多】【就】【是】【金】【钱】【上】【的】【交】【易】，【毕】【竟】【这】【位】【拉】【泽】【尔】【公】【爵】【掌】【握】【这】【暴】【风】【城】【的】【大】【部】【分】【交】【易】【行】【与】【商】【会】。 【富】【可】【敌】【国】【这】【个】【词】，【用】【在】【拉】【泽】【尔】【公】【爵】【身】【上】，【真】【的】【是】【再】【合】【适】【不】【过】【了】。 【当】【然】，【洛】【珩】【当】【初】【刚】【穿】【越】【到】【这】【个】【世】【界】，【吃】【了】【一】【顿】【霸】【王】【餐】【的】【事】【情】，【似】【乎】【和】【这】【位】【拉】【泽】【尔】【改】